Baby Macaw, ten days old, help please

by Amber Pickle
(Waco, Georgia, USA)

Our Macaws have just started mating, they've hatched 4 babies. The first three died after the third day. I pulled the fourth hatchling about 8 hours after hatching. He has been doing fine. I've been feeding him Gerber rice baby cereal. His space is kept a constant 85 - 92 degrees. This is his 10th day. He had been eating every two hours, starting to graduate to three.

He was fine this morning, I went in to feed him at 11:00 and he is sleeping very hard. He has developed a lot of air in the top of his craw. One hour later I went in and he was still sleeping, I tried to rouse him but he seems very lethargic.

Can anyone tell me what is wrong, if anything is wrong, and how I can fix it?

I really appreciate any help you can give me.

Thank you,
Amber Pickle

Comments for Baby Macaw, ten days old, help please

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Aug 10, 2011
Baby Macaw, ten days old, help please
by: Linda

First of all, your baby is sick and will die without services of an Avian Vet in your driving area. Please get bird there quickly as they do not last this young for very long.

Secondly, your bird is not getting even a portion of the nutrition he needs and could be starving to death. The only thing to feed baby birds is baby parrot handfeeding formula, and there are a couple of good brands found here. These are best fed with a syringe and not a spoon because the spoon causes much gas in the crop. Also food fed too cold will cause infection in the crop which may be what's happening now.

Your baby may also be getting dehydrated, so make sure you have a place that is not heated for him to crawl into so he has some respite if he gets too warm. When I first started a long time ago, I killed my first Cockatiel baby by not knowing what to feed and by keeping her too hot. She simply died of multiple causes and I've never forgotten the lesson which was to study and know what I was doing before ever doing it again.

So, first get baby to avian vet quickly and get some baby parrot handfeeding formula which can also be found in most pet stores or bird stores. We have some here, and the Roudybush is a good brand. If you don't know how to feed with syringe, then ask avian vet to either show you or recommend a breeder in your area to help you out here. You will lose this baby shortly if you don't move quickly.

The other issue is why other babies died. Baby parrots have to be weighed every single day with a gram scale. If there is one baby that does not gain weight for even one day, this means an infection is present and all babies have it. Baby birds cannot fight infections because they have no immune systems to speak of and die quickly. I think the one you have is sick and will die shortly without medical intervention.

Also parents have to be eating high quality organic pelleted diet like Harrison's Hi Potency in order to be building a healthy immune system of their own. All parent birds have to be examined for infections before breeding as these are passed directly to the babies.

Let us know what avian vet has to say, and I wish you God's speed and blessings in saving this little one's life.

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